Me: Black Sheep, Social Maven, Possibly Gay.

Preface: I have almost never made E go to Family Functions. Partly that is because almost all of them are, of late, funerals, and I don’t think it’s fair for him to go to funerals of people he does not know. He doesn’t really need to take time off work to listen to an interminable service and then eat thrifty church sandwiches made of thinly-spread egg-salad, or bargain ham with too much mustard.

So. I was at a rare not-funeral barbecue event recently, chatting with distant relations I don’t know very well, and generally representing for my father’s side of the family. I am a Good Daughter. Also, I was there as a My-Father-Is-In-Perfect-Health smokescreen. Christ, the enabling starts early over here.

Anyhow, I’m having some barbecue pork and pasta salad and my dad’s cousin asks, “So, are you with a partner? Or are you alone? Or…” He takes a bite of bean salad as cover.

I explain that I have a boyfriend, whom I live with, and that we have some history together, although we are not legally married.

He nods and continues chewing.

But then I remember family gatherings over the past four years. The question, “Do you have a partner”, or even, “Is there someone in your life?” come up with some frequency. Not “Do you have a boyfriend?” or, “Is there a man in your life?” (even though there are some very right-wing relations who eschew anything that isn’t Good Ole- Christian-Family-Style) It’s all about ‘partner’ and ‘someone’.

In my effort to shield E from the tediosity of my family connections, I appear to have thrown my sexuality into question.

Awesome! I may take to using ambiguous pronouns just to keep the question alive.

12 Comments to “Me: Black Sheep, Social Maven, Possibly Gay.”

  1. By Arwen, August 29, 2007 @ 12:37 am

    My immediate, uncensored response: “What? Even Pomodoro’s gayer than you are.”
    Considering, I think I’ve never heard you get a crush on a woman, even in an “I want to be her” way.

  2. By sarah, August 29, 2007 @ 6:42 am

    I’m with Arwen.

    You can, of course, do what ever you like to mess with your family – that’s just good clean fun. But you may be the least gay woman I have ever known and loved.

  3. By elswhere, August 29, 2007 @ 9:42 am

    Do you have short hair? That could be it.

    RW has long hair and people never think she’s gay. Even other lesbians. It drives her nuts.

  4. By Arwen, August 29, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

    Els: her hair is what I’d call “medium”.
    Liz: You do exude an unwillingness to play games, listen to classic rock, and accurately identify cars from engine sounds, all of which are intimidating or overwhelming to a certain type of … well, okay, man, usually. Usually types who are living a certain women/men segregated existence.
    And intimidated (okay men usually) can sometimes decide their intimidation is based on you not being interested in their penis on principal.
    Is this in play?
    (IBTP?)

  5. By Liz, August 29, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

    Arwen, I always BTP. However, I do not think my relations, distant or otherwise, want me interested in their penises (penii?). I hope not, anyway.

    I have had crushes on women, just none recently. Pomo’s more matchy-matchy than I am, but when has she ever had a crush on a woman?

    I guess I do have certain ‘male’ interests (where the given value for ‘male’ is a small-town stereotype). I also always wear jeans and never wear heels.

    Elsewhere, Medium hair, as stated. Not usually noticeably styled. Maybe that’s it?

    Stereotyping: It’s the best way to play headgames! (Wanders off to purchase and install a carburetor)

  6. By John, August 29, 2007 @ 11:38 pm

    Penises should be “penu.”

    Someone told me walruses is “walru,” after which we promptly named an imaginary sport and equally imaginary work-league (Walru-Ball).

    Why isn’t it walris or penus?

    What the hell am I talking about?

    Oh right. Does that mean we have to stop adding the “ah” sound to the end of E’s name?

  7. By Liz, August 29, 2007 @ 11:46 pm

    I want to learn to play Walru-Ball!

    As for E’s name change, I think I’ll let my partner choose however they see fit.

    Hm. I appear to need practice with the pronouns.

  8. By Arwen, August 31, 2007 @ 1:07 am

    Penis in principal, not in specific, for certain values of dude. Even fathers and uncles and such, for certain values of dude. Y’know. Like intimidation by a woman supposes lack of appropriate penis awe.

  9. By Liz, August 31, 2007 @ 1:26 am

    That that value of dude may be lurking in my relatives, some of whom I know to be highly sensitive and highly educated people, pains me.There’s no rest for the agitators.

  10. By stephanie, September 1, 2007 @ 9:05 am

    In college, I had a communications teacher who always referred to his partner. So, right, we thought he was gay. No, he was married. They were just some crazy progressive people who looked upon their marriage as an equal partnership. I don’t know if he wanted us to pick up on the partner thing or what, but no one ever did.

  11. By rachel, September 1, 2007 @ 9:54 am

    This is going to sound apropos of nothing, but it’s really a tangent off of Arwen’s classic rock comment above—have you seen “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey”? It’s a documentary by a Canadian anthropologist (he’s got to be competent! He’s Canadian!) who loves metal. While it is ultimately too short to be really nerdily satisfying, it raises a lot of interesting questions about (among other things) metal and gender (like, if metal is such a manly-man’s genre, why were the most popular groups of the 80s dressed up like women?).

  12. By Liz, September 1, 2007 @ 11:09 am

    Stephanie, that would be the kind of thing that’s hard to pick up on and still remain sensitive and not prying into the guy’s life.

    Rachel, I’ve heard of it but haven’t seen it. The dressing-like-women thing is something I have always wondered about.

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